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Open House, Open Heart

It's funny how the universe sends you things you need....when you need them most.  Two days ago the radio was blaring the warning that Christmas was only a month away.  Yesterday it reminded everyone that a month from now all the Christmas hubbub would be over and you would be left with a mess or alternatively, standing in line somewhere to save $50 off a TV you really don't need.
I have to admit, I would love to go back to a time when I was just the kid...and the only thing I had to do was browse the Sears Wishbook (over and over)---or tag along behind my Nana as we paused at each of the meticulously decorated windows at the Simpsons building downtown in the 'big city'.  Stress was reserved for grownups.  I dreamed of sleigh bells in the air, snowmen I would build and the smell of eggnog and aftershave as 50 or more people filled out house each Christmas Eve.  Cookies were consumed, candy jars raided, fires crackled and laughter filled the house with a loving energy.
Now, my extended family is fractured some and through the years people have drifted apart or moved away (that would be me).  My mom now winters in Florida, and my dad has passed.  Those times I remember as a child will never be again and I have made little effort to recreate my own version of a house filled with love and life on a big scale.
I miss it.
Christmas now means remembering gifts for teachers and bus drivers and colleagues. Baking and freezing cookies we seldom ever consume, in an attempt to bring one piece from my past into today.  It means worrying about gifts--too many--too few--too big---to small and wishing I could slow the days down to enjoy the carols, the snow.
We have new traditions though which will now be traditions to my kids who will grow up knowing nothing else.  We still watch the old children's Christmas classics....we put out milk and cookies and for our Christmas dinner (even if it is a bucket of fast food chicken --which it was the Christmas I had a one month old!)  we pop Christmas crackers--wear the hats--and share the riddles of jokes.
What came my way today that put me in this reflective state of mine was Lisa-Jo Baker's blog post :

The tired mother's holiday creed via
The Tired Mother's Holiday Creed.  I will print and post this on my fridge.  It feels familiar.  It feels right.  It feels like the perfect thing I needed to read today.


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